So another year, another Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
Last year was our debut on the XPONorth Seedlings Stage, and this year we had the fairly rapid step up and huge privilege of opening the Festival on the Garden Stage on Thursday, but ironically playing to arguably a smaller audience from a stage 5 times the size.
With an earlier start on the Thursday designed to entice people on-site earlier and ease traffic congestion, we appreciated that the number of folk ready to rock at that time would perhaps be thinner on the ground. It was possibly also too early for any liquid-fuelled impulse-buying of Thursday upgrades that would give access to the Garden arena. We’d like to think there were clamouring ‘Tooth fans just over the fence wishing they had an upgrade, but hey… A few folk we spoke to afterwards said it sounded great from the car park and campsite.
It wasn’t an easy gig to sell a performance right up to the back of a 10,000 capacity arena with plenty of green space in between but we gave it a good go. No doubt we could learn a bit from young loons like The Hunna who were dervishes in the HotHouse on Saturday. But if you are going to cut your teeth on a huge stage with a mammoth PA then it’s an ideal chance to do it when it’s a bit quieter, and it only gives us more ambition to do better, in front of more people, with a smile on our face. In a year where the music was excellent and eclectic as always, the Rock was quite hard to find and we appreciate our musical approach is not in keeping with the times. But there are people out there who will listen to rock (without bagpipes), so we need to find them.
Massive thanks to Dougie and Steve at Team Bella and to Ally, Garr, the other Dougie and the whole team on the Garden Stage who looked after us very well. And an even bigger thank you to everyone who busted their asses to get into the arena by 1pm on Thursday and see us, including Ian who took this video of our newest song, No Evidence.
Filmed by Ian MacDonald